For months, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been treating his numerous social media followers to a blow-by-blow account
of his life.
Besides posting pictures of mundane activities such as a trip to the dentist, Kadyrov has used the Instagram photo-sharing service to display images
of himself hanging out in a bathrobe with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and chatting with French actor and tax exile Gerard Depardieu.
Now he has added another luminary to his collection of pix.
A number of photos posted on Instagram this week show him cozily fraternizing in Grozny
with Depardieu and English actress Elizabeth Hurley (and a kitten).
It appears that the British thesp may have been in the Chechen capital as part of preparations for a film she is set to shoot with Depardieu in Moscow and Grozny.
On May 11, Hurley told her followers on Twitter
that she was "prepping for a new movie," which she was shooting with Depardieu in Russia.
According to media reports
, the actors will be appearing in a thriller called "Turquoise," which stars Depardieu as a man who travels to Russia after his son is killed there. Hurley will apparently play his ex-girlfriend, who becomes involved in his quest.
A synopsis released by the film's London-based production company says the upcoming movie will feature "outstanding action scenes shot against the magnificent backdrops of Moscow and Grozny."
Although landing a role opposite the legendary French movie star is something of a coup for Hurley, who is perhaps as well known for wearing plunging dresses held together with safety pins
as she is for her acting achievements, this latest film project could cause some headaches for her publicists.
At some stage, it's highly likely that the "Austin Powers" star's PR people will have to field questions about her hobnobbing with Kadyrov, who has been widely accused of ruling Chechnya with an iron fist and committing serious rights abuses -- charges he has repeatedly denied.
In 2011, following criticism from human rights groups, the Oscar-winning American actress Hilary Swank felt compelled to issue an apology,
saying her attendance at a concert and party organized by Kadyrov was something she "deeply regrets."
-- Coilin O'Connor